Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Henri Boulad, S.J.: Theosis
In the shadow of mosques and secularized societies, how can Christians like you and me continue to witness to Christ. We are happy that we are given this gift in this 21st century. If Islam is the religion of God, Christianity is the religion of Man. God knelt before man in the Last Supper. Christ invites you and me to reach out to everyone in love. When the young man asked Christ about inheriting the kingdom of God, Christ responded to him with a question: Have you learned the Commandments? The young man replied: All this I did since my early age. Now Christ surprised him: Go sell what you have and follow me. Can you sell what you have? Can you really give time to Christ in your life? But where is Christ? And surprisingly he is in everyone in need. Can you do a bit of this in love everyday? Can you help Him who is in the Other? He answers the elect "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me." (Matt 25: 34-36).
But here is another real story: Marco was a teenager at the Jesuit School. He was aggressive with his classmates pulling their ears and knocking them on the head. I received many complaints from students and parents about him. I spoke to Marco and noticed that he cried when blamed, so I told him first that he is God's unique boy. No one can touch him because his Daddy in him (God) is sacred. I urged him to find the good thing that he can contribute to others and to be open. The enthusiasm that Marco received changed him. And Marco became very successful with everyone. His marks exceeded his dreams. In fact enthusiasm means "God Within." The Church - the entire Church - must learn how to encourage those young ones: not by putting them down or telling them how sinful they are, but by showing them that God is indeed in them. This is the teaching of Jesus when he said "The kingdom is within you." This is also the teaching of the Church. The Spirit of God is in every human person. Respect that person and appreciate the gifts given to him by God. This is for parents, bosses, workers, young and old, of every race, culture and religion. Then you can start your way into Theosis. Thank God for the incarnation of his Son through whom we became adopted sons of God.